Things here have been stressful and frustrating. I've been melancholy and almost lethargic. It's partly the weather - a seeming endless barrage of snow and frigid cold - which canceled a trip to visit my beloved grandma, and it's partly other things that don't belong here on the blog.
Regardless, it's led me to find comfort in food and my focus to shift away from things, like my Core Values challenge, into a hazy fog. I'm not overly anxious about it - things are/will improve, and I'm not lost. Just temporarily misplaced.
I'd be lying, though, if I didn't feel a bit of guilt that I was slumped on the couch on Friday night and couldn't will myself off for even one round of crunches much less 5 minutes. I had promised myself to make my core a priority - and I had promised you. The dynamic workout that I was hoping to incorporate didn't happen as my schedule has been thrown off by Miles.
Excuses or reasons - you decide.
Check in: But, I did get in six out of seven days and I'm seeing some improvement. I am able to do single leg planks and straight-leg bird dog exercises. I am much more stable in single-leg bridges and zippers. Again, I've found that my core is less sore than the previous week.
Of interest: The January edition of ACE's Pro Source showed up in my email today, and one of the articles was about core work. Imagine that! In "Reality Check: Are Planks Really the Best Core Exercise," the author explores the popularity of the exercise and whether trainers should continue to include it in programming. I found it really interesting as I really like planks but I find the epic plank holds to be rather single-minded and unnecessary. The experts interviewed came in on both sides but Dr. Wayne Westcott, instructor of exercise science at Quincy College and co-author of ACE’s Guide to Youth Strength Training, made a great point:
"To build muscle strength, you need to activate the muscle to near fatigue, within the anaerobic energy system, which typically takes 60 to 90 seconds. Any exercise that takes longer (including planks held beyond that range) doesn’t address muscle strength or size.”The article suggest adding plank variations and alternatives to core programming for more well-rounded training.
Exercises to try this week: Plank on a stability ball, knee tuck on stability ball, side plank with lower leg lift, Russian twist, Pilates swimming exercise and weighted glute bridge
How are you doing? What do you think of planks? Be sure to comment to be entered in the challenge giveaway, which includes products from NAAWK, SmartWool, Nuun and Clif Bar.